One other factor in Boston was the Western migration that began in the 1840s.
There was no shortage of single Massachusetts men in my Kansas town in the late 1850s.
"Lucretia Mott, the mistress of the house ...is sensible and lively, and an abolitionist of the most intrepid school."
"I must tell you what an exciting fugitive case we had last week. A citizen of Richmond, Va., called at the office and told Miller McKim and Cyrus Burleigh, that a slave in that city was meditating his escape by being placed in a box, as goods, lo be sent by Adams Express. He was told of the great danger of suffocation, as well as the risk of detection, but was not deterred. After some delays, a telegraph at length apprised Miller of his approach. The box was received at the depot, more carefully handled than it had been before, and safely deposited at the A. S. office, when a trembling tap, and 'All right?' from Miller, was responded to by 'All right, sir!' from the pent-up man. The lid was removed as quickly as the hoops could be loosened, when he rose, with a 'Good morning, gentlemen!'
"Miller says we can hardly conceive the relief and excitement to find the man alive, and the poor fellow's happiness and gratitude; he sung a hymn of praise. He is a large man, weighing nearly two hundred pounds, and was incased in a box two feet long, twenty three inches wide, and three feet high, in a sitting posture. He was provided with a few crackers, and a bladder filled with water, which would make no noise in being turned over, nor yet be liable to be broken; he however ate none, as it would have made him thirsty, and he needed all the water to bathe his head, after the rough turns over, in which he sometimes rested for miles on his head and shoulders, when it would seem as if the veins would burst. He fanned himself almost constantly with his hat, and bored holes for fresh breathing air, with a gimlet or small auger furnished him. The cracks of the box had canvas over, to prevent any inspection, and to appear like goods.
"Dr. Noble says, if he had been consulted, he should have said it would be impossible for the man to be shut up and live twenty-four hours...[Brown] was conducted here, where he gave us his history.... He had a wife and three children sold from him a year ago,...This almost broke his heart; and from that time he resolved on obtaining his own freedom; and having no family to provide for, he laid by enough to hire a white man to undertake his removal in the box....After resting...he was sent on east. "
And better photos of her quilt here:
In the fall of 1861, sixteen girls from elite families of Cambridge, home to Harvard University, met at the home of Jane Loring Gray, wife of Botany Professor Asa Gray, to begin their work for Civil War soldiers.